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Mol Brain. 2014 Mar 27;7:20. doi: 10.1186/1756-6606-7-20.

Disruption of the nuclear p53-GAPDH complex protects against ischemia-induced neuronal damage.

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Department of Neuroscience, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Clarke Division, 250 College Street, Toronto, Ontario M5T 1R8, Canada.


Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) is conventionally considered a critical enzyme that involves in glycolysis for energy production. Recent previous studies have suggested that GAPDH is important in glutamate-induced neuronal excitotoxicity, while accumulated evidence also demonstrated that GAPDH nuclear translocation plays a critical role in cell death. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this process remain largely unknown. In this study, we showed that GAPDH translocates to the nucleus in a Siah1-dependent manner upon glutamate stimulation. The nuclear GAPDH forms a protein complex with p53 and enhances p53 expression and phosphorylation. Disruption of the GAPDH-p53 interaction with an interfering peptide blocks glutamate-induced cell death and GAPDH-mediated up-regulation of p53 expression and phosphorylation. Furthermore, administration of the interfering peptide in vivo protects against ischemia-induced cell death in rats subjected to tMCAo. Our data suggest that the nuclear p53-GAPDH complex is important in regulating glutamate-mediated neuronal death and could serve as a potential therapeutic target for ischemic stroke treatment.

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